Sounds like the Vatican Christmas concert is going to be a rockin’ affair this year! The Holy See has announced that Pope Francis has asked Patti Smith to perform at the event, which will be held on Dec.
13 at Rome’s Auditorium Conciliazione and will be broadcast live on television.
Smith, often called the ‘Godmother of the Punk’ is known for her ability to fuse poetry and rock music.
However, she has also been known to pen some controversial lyrics using religious references, which makes the invitation by Pope Francis a rather unexpected move. In “Gloria,” Smith’s famous Van Morrison cover, the rock legend added the line: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.” Smith, who had a strong religious upbringing as a child, also recorded the lullaby for Darren Aronofsky’s controversial biblical film “Noah.” While discussing that project earlier this year, Smith told The Independent , that she felt the Bible is “very resonant” today.
“It has everything – creation, betrayal, lust, poetry, prophecy, sacrifice,” said the 67-year-old.
“It doesn’t really matter what religion you are or if you have no religion, those stories are still relevant to what people go through in their lives and they’re also beautifully written passages.” Recently, the Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore in Naples, Italy has been struggling to decide whether or not it would allow Smith to perform at its concert.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno, a Catholic association called Portosalvo has requested that the Archbishop of Naples ban Smith from performing her December 9 th concert at the historic church on the grounds of “blasphemy.” A decision has yet to be reached on that matter.
Smith met Pope Francis last spring.
Perhaps the inclusion of the rock songstress by the Catholic Church’s leader, who is also known as “the People’s Pope,” is somewhat of a statement on the matter in Naples. Smith will be one of 18 performers who are scheduled to appear at the Vatican Christmas concert.
French DJ Bob Sinclar and Cleveland musician CeCe Rogers will also take the stage, as well as singing nun Sister Cristina Scuccia, who won the Italian version of “The Voice.”